W. Oakley Hermance

1931 to 1932

It is my great privilege and pleasure to welcome you to our thirty-third annual meeting of the American Proctologic Society.

As you know, the Society was organized and held its first meeting in 1899. We have, therefore, been in existence for one-third of a century.

Presidential addresses are sometimes tiresome. I bring you glad tidings. Mine will be non-scientific and very short.

Since 1920 we have been fluttering about the country and have at last returned to the nest that has so long awaited us. Our well-beloved Jelks has spent many seasons in bringing carefully selected twigs, vines and leaves with which to build this nest and has repeatedly implored us to come to this haven and rest. Dr. John Jelks, we are here!

In reading over past presidential addresses in the "Transactions," it is indeed a great pleasure and comfort to recall suggestions and admonitions and prophecies of those great men; many who have gone from us and, thank God, many who are with us today. The prophecies have mostly come true.

T. Chittenden Hill in 1916 said: "Members of this Society who live in the West have been more successful than we in the East in getting Departments of Proctology established in existing hospitals, and are to be Congratulated; and the present would appear to be a favorable time to advocate having proctology taught in the schools." In this connection he called attention to the address of Murray in 1910, in which he gave us some valuable first-hand information concerning undergraduate instruction in proctology from the point of view of the medical teacher and general practitioner. In this address he showed very conclusively that there was practically no systematic teaching of this subject in the leading medical schools throughout the United States and Canada.